Dragon boat racing is an ancient sport with a long and storied history that dates back more than 2500 years to south-central China. It is believed to have originated from the legend of Qu Yuan, a minister in the Warring States government of Chu who was banished by the king and drowned in the Miluo River. In an effort to save him, people ran to the river with boats and drums and threw sticky rice dumplings (zongzi) into the water to prevent the fish from eating his body. This is how dragon boat racing was born. The longest dragon boat in the world is located in Cambodia and is known as the Kambojika Putta Khemara Tarei.
It is thought that dragon boat racing was initially used as a ritual to appease the rain gods and celebrate the planting of rice in summer. The sport has since spread to more than sixty countries around the world, including China, which has 50 million sailors with dragons. Dragon boats are human-powered vessels native to the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong province, southern China. The pairs of rowers sit facing forward on the boat and use a specific type of paddle that is not attached to the boat in any way. The direction of a dragon ship's movement is controlled by the rudder at the back of the ship, which is operated by a person who requires rowers to improve their location and time if they participate. In 1976, dragon boat racing became a modern international sport in Hong Kong.
In 1991, the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) was created along with a set of institutional rules and regulations that govern this sport. The International Canoeing Federation, an entity recognized by the IOC that regulates many disciplines of canoeing, has also begun to sanction Dragon Boat events. Today, dragon boat racing has become increasingly popular in Orlando, Florida. It is an excellent way for people to come together and enjoy a fun activity while learning about its ancient history. Whether you are looking for a competitive sport or just want to have some fun on the water, dragon boat racing is an exciting activity that can be enjoyed by all.
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